News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: Border Crisis

Photograph by Evy Mages

About Washingtonian Today

Washingtonian Today is not just another political news roundup. Instead, this daily morning brief provides local context on national news, catches you up on what’s happening at Washingtonian, points you toward super duper awesome things to do around town, and lets you in on some special events going on in-house. Sign up here to receive Washingtonian Today in your inbox every morning.

Happy Tuesday.

Reading between the lines: The Supreme Court will hear arguments today in two cases about partisan gerrymandering. While a North Carolina case has captured much of the public’s attention, justices will also hear a case centered on Maryland’s 6th Congressional District. Now, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is challenging a November 2018 US District Court ruling blocking the districts drawn in 2011 that it found disadvantaged Republicans in the western part of the state. In response to the November ruling, an emergency commission in the state proposed new boundaries for the district, the Washington Post reported earlier this month. Those new boundaries would put all of Frederick County in Maryland’s 6th Congressional district, instead of splitting it into two. At an earlier stage in the case, the Supreme Court ruled against Republican challengers, but it now comes before a court lacking former Justice Anthony Kennedy’s swing vote. There will be a “Rally to End Gerrymandering” hosted by Common Cause and League of Women Voters in the U.S. in front of SCOTUS this morning that runs from 9:15 AM until noon.

Tweet fighter: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted out a custom “Mueller Madness” bracket that pits critics of the Trump administration, cable TV pundits, reporters, and comedians against one another.

Looks like it was made by the New York Post.

I’m your author, Brittany Shepherd. Email me at and follow me on Twitter. Adia Robinson ( contributed reporting today. Please subscribe to this newsletter.

Better call Saul: Michael Avenatti, the now ex-attorney of Stormy Daniels, has been charged by federal prosecutors in New York and Los Angeles with extortion and wire fraud. The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York charged Avenatti with extortion for allegedly threatening Nike with claims of misconduct. The US Attorney for the Central District of California followed that up by charging Avenatti with wire and bank fraud for allegedly using a client’s money to pay his own debts. Just before the announcement of charges, Avenatti tweeted that he would be holding a press conference today about “criminal conduct that reaches the highest levels of Nike.” Police arrested him Monday in Los Angeles. According to the New York Times, the unnamed co-conspirator in the indictment is Los Angeles lawyer Mark Geragos. Geragos previously represented Colin Kaepernick and Michael Jackson and was reportedly hired by former Empire star Jussie Smollett.

And now for something completely different: Aren’t we all just ornamental cabbage?

What’s on my mind: AOC released her birth time to an interested member of the astrological community. Have we entered the Co-Star primary, where politicians and 2020 hopefuls will be required to submit their charts to voters and donors?

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

Our pick for things to do around town:

THEATER The National Theatre is hosting the DC debut of A Bronx Tale, a musical co-directed by Robert De Niro (who directed the original 1993 film) and Tony winner Jerry Zaks. The show follows a young man in the 1960s who’s torn between following his father’s honest footsteps and joining the mob. The show’s creative team features frequent collaborators Alan Menken and Glenn Slater (TangledSister ActThe Little Mermaid). Recommended for ages 12 and up (language and gunshot effects). Through March 31. $45-$114.

Good reads:

Russell Berman dives into the Trump scandals Congress may have missed by focusing too much on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, including potential violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause and controversy around Jared Kushner’s security clearance. (The Atlantic)

Facebook really, really wants you to believe it’s passionate about journalism. (CJR)

Big events from Washingtonian:

Do you really love the drip coffee from Swings? Adore the sweets at District Doughnut? Our annual readers poll is now live–take it and let us know your favorite things in Washington. You could win two tickets to our fabulous Best of Washington party in June.

Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.